This new course looks at strategies specifically aimed at improving Grade 4 – 5 student learning, exam performance and overall achievement levels in AQA GCSE Geography. In all GCSE Geography groups there will be widespread differentiation. This course will demonstrate a range of approaches, methods and techniques specifically designed to enhance Grade 4 – 5 student learning and application whilst at the same time make these fitting to work in a wide-ranging GCSE group. All three examination papers and the fieldwork and skills requirements will be addressed.


  • Find out more about strengths and weaknesses of Grade 4-5 candidates’ performances on all three papers.
  • Increase understanding of how to incorporate skills and how they are assessed in the classroom.
  • Take away strategies for developing candidates’ understanding of and ability to successfully approach examination questions.
  • Gain an increased understanding of fieldwork requirements and approaches that enable students at Grades 4-5 to succeed in the examinations.
  • Develop a greater understanding of how to incorporate these key skills in your teaching of the entire course.
COURSE DATE London | Wednesday 24 November 2021

London | Monday 24 January 2021

  • Heads of Department (Geography)
  • Lead Geography Teachers
  • Teachers leading trips for the first time
  • NQT’s
IN-SCHOOL You can also book this as an In-School Course
  • A specially prepared folder of 50+ pages full of detailed notes, practical advice and guidance
  • Notes prepared by the educational experts leading the course
  • Expert produced PowerPoint presentations
  • CPD Certificate of attendance
  • Two course restaurant lunch
  • Refreshments throughout the day
  • Guaranteed high quality venues


10.00 – 10.30am: Evidence of the key challenges from the latest examinations

  • Feedback from the latest examinations and what this tells us about student performance
  • Papers 1, 2 and 3 – candidates’ strengths and weaknesses
  • Assessment Objectives and candidate outcomes: how to incorporate these into your teaching effectively

10.30 – 11.30am: Dealing with content

A close examination of the specification and assessment requirements for Papers 1 and 2 to identify how to address weaknesses and ensure student progress

  • Choosing and teaching the case studies for Living World, Urban Issues and Challenges, Changing Economic World. Depth of content required.
  • Examples and named examples: differences between them and depth of teaching required.
  • Teaching physical landscapes, importance of processes and sequence.
  • The optional units in Paper 2, teaching Food, Water or Energy

11.30 – 11.45am: Discussion P.1

11.45 – 12.45pm: Teaching Paper 1: key challenges for Grade 7-9 students

  • Analysing the exam papers: where is a 7/9 achieved or lost?
  • Approaches to teaching, learning and testing subject content
  • The importance of the assessment objectives and command words
  • Revision strategies to ensure top level students succeed in the exams

12.45 – 1.45pm: Lunch

1.45 – 2.45pm: Paper 3 – Improving outcomes with the pre-release resources

  • Techniques for teaching the Issue Evaluation, including practise activities
  • Dealing with the pre-release requirements in the classroom
  • Issue Evaluation strand – linking the resource to the specification for good marks
  • Developing student understanding of mark scheme requirements in relation to addressing AO3: Application

2.45 – 3.00pm: Discussion P.2

3.00 – 3.45pm: Paper 3 – Improving outcomes on fieldwork

  • Developing strategies to deliver appropriate fieldwork enquiries with Grade 4-5 students
  • Fieldwork – helping students understand and respond successfully to fieldwork set in unfamiliar contexts
  • Fieldwork – teaching and learning strategies for candidates’ physical and human geography enquiries

3.45pm: Plenary and depart

James Foster

James has been Head of Geography at Xaverian Sixth Form, Manchester College for over nine years. He has been a senior examiner since 2010 and worked on both the 2008 and the 2016 specifications, specifically the human and physical papers and AS Physical paper. He has been a Chartered Geographer since 2012 in recognition of his work and has written extensively for both Edexcel and GeoFactfsheet. Additionally, he is a reviewer on Routesjounal.org, an online journal which aims to showcase the best abilities of A-level and undergraduate students.